The best results will be ensured only if we take a vested interest in the work of the Government, treating it as our own.
Secretary to Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of Planning Ministry, Pradeep Ranjan Chakraborty, made the remarks while addressing a workshop in Gazipur on Sunday, says a press release.
He said citizens' awareness is critical to impart transparency and accountability to the work of the government.
The Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of IMED organised the workshop on citizens' involvement in government procurement activities at BRAC CDM at Rajendrapur, aiming to share field-level experiences and consult stakeholders.
Deputy Commissioner of Gazipur, SM Tariqul Islam attended the event as special guest. CPTU Director, General Md Shoheler Rahman Chowdhury presided over the workshop, while Programme Manager of Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), Syeda Selina Aziz delivered welcome remarks.
Stressing on people's engagement in public procurement activities, Shoheler Rahman Chowdhury said the more transparent and accountable the government procurement process, the greater will be the involvement of citizens.
"Government work in certain places has significantly improved, especially where projects are being implemented with people's full participation," he added.
During the Q&A session of the workshop, participants discussed a range of issues, including advantages and disadvantages of the current procurement process; the current strategy of citizens' involvement in the procurement process; citizens' feedback; sustainable strategies to ensure citizens' participation in the government procurement process; measures to be taken by government and contractors.
CPTU is implementing the Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project in 48 Upazilas under the eight divisions of the country, working on the engagement of local citizens in the implementation of the government procurement process. BIGD is serving as a consultant in the project, assisting in formulating a viable strategy to determine ways to increase citizens' involvement in government procurement, as well as to monitor the field-level implementation of government procurement through local citizens.
To boost people's involvement in public procurement, BIGD wants to use a strategy, which is sustainable, is low in implementation costs, and compatible with Bangladesh's political environment. BIGD is trying to implement the concept of site-specific or contract-based citizens' involvement in the field. BRAC's Community Empowerment Program (CEP) is assisting BIGD in field work to formulate the strategy.
At the field-level, BIGD is simultaneously implementing two different strategies regarding citizens' involvement in government procurement, aiming to identify the most effective approach based on field experience.
In most of the Upazilas, a civic group comprised of locals or citizen observers is being formed at each work site, whose primary responsibility is to monitor the progress of the work and report any irregularities to the local in-charge government officials. On the other hand, at some sites, the responsibility of monitoring the work has been entrusted entirely to the local community, without forming any groups.